A freshman state representative from Westbrook faces an opponent in his bid for re-election.

Dillon Bates, a Democrat elected in 2014, is seeking his second term in House District 35. Bates, a 28-year-old music and theater teacher at Maine Girls’ Academy, served on the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee during his first term.

Republican Jim Bourque is running against him. Bourque, 69, is retired from his position as vice president of human resources at Nappi Distributors.

The two candidates are on opposite sides of most key issues in the 2016 election.

Last year, Bates sponsored a bill to raise the state’s $7.50 minimum wage to $8 this October and then by 50 cents every year until 2018. It was eventually rejected, but on the Nov. 8 ballot, voters will consider a more dramatic increase to $12 an hour by 2020.

In an interview, Bates said he would vote in favor of that change, though he would prefer a lesser increase like the one he previously proposed.

“It has been a long time since workers in the state had a raise, and although I have some concerns, I will probably support it,” he said of the referendum question.

On other November ballot initiatives, Bates said he also supports instituting background checks on private firearms sales and legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

He disagrees with Gov. Paul LePage’s effort to eliminate the income tax, saying he would rather see relief for people’s property tax bills.

Bates said he is seeking re-election because he wants to keep building on the experience of his first term.

“I do feel like there’s a lot of stuff that will be hitting the table in the next couple years,” he said.

Bourque, on the other hand, said the proposed increase in the minimum wage would lead to fewer jobs.

“If the price of something is increased, there will be less demand and sales will drop,” he said in a Portland Press Herald survey. “If the price of labor increases, it will cause a corresponding drop in the demand for labor.”

He opposes background checks on private gun sales and legal recreational marijuana.

Bourque said he would support the governor’s proposal to lower Maine’s income tax rate and eventually eliminate it, by applying the state’s sales tax to a broader range of goods and services. He argued it would be “a great trend to attract people to Maine.”

A newcomer to politics, Bourque said he is running for office in order to “cut taxes for businesses and families, lower electricity bills (and) support welfare reforms that help achieve independence.”

Both candidates are publicly funded under Maine’s Clean Elections Act, which limits private contributions and provides $5,000 to $15,000 in supplemental public funding to candidates for the House.

Bates reported $5,365 in Clean Elections funding and $200 in seed money contributions in his latest campaign finance report, but he had spent just $66 as of Sept. 20. Bourque had received $5,000 in Clean Elections funding and $1,000 in seed money contributions, and he had spent roughly $1,715 by that same date.

House District 35 covers the northern half of Westbrook.